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    Cuban ‘Wasp’ spy checks in with Miami probation officer

    Posted on Wednesday, 10.12.11

    Cuban 'Wasp' spy checks in with Miami probation officer

    A web site reports that Wasp Network member checked in with his
    probation officer in Miami.
    By Juan O. Tamayo

    Cuban spy René González reported to a probation officer in downtown
    Miami on Tuesday after serving 13 years in as part of the "Wasp
    Network" of intelligence agents, according to reports from Havana.

    González, the first of the five convicted network members to complete
    his prison sentence, had not been seen in public since Friday when he
    walked out of a U.S. prison in northwestern Florida.

    The 55-year-old had been expected to avoid South Florida, and its deeply
    anti- Cuban community, for the duration of the three years'
    probation that he still must serve to complete his sentence.

    But the Web site CubaDebate, run by the Cuban government, reported
    González checked in Tuesday with the federal probation office in Miami
    as required by the terms of his release.

    His Miami lawyer, Philip Horowitz, confirmed Gonzalez has checked in
    with a federal probation office Tuesday but declined to say where,
    saying he needed to protect his client's safety.

    CubaDebate published photos of the Miami building — but not of the
    González visit — credited to Aissa García, a Havana sent to
    Miami to report on the case for Telesur, a TV channel run by Cuba and

    Mexico's La Jornada newspaper on Tuesday published an interview with
    Ricardo Alarcón, president of Cuba's legislative National Assembly of
    Peoples' Power, confirming Gonzalez has been in South Florida.

    "René today is in a secure place in South Florida with his daughters,
    his brother, his father," Alarcón said. The four relatives arrived from
    Havana last week and were on hand for his release from the Marianna prison.

    Alarcon also seemed to say that Gonzalez remained under U.S.
    surveillance. "He is being watched," Alarcon said. "To protect him? To
    attack him? Or to stop him from doing something against terrorists?"

    Havana insists the Cuban Five are intelligence agents "anti-terrorist
    heroes" sent to South Florida only to spy on exiles planning terrorist
    attacks against the island. Their trial included evidence the network
    tried to infiltrate the U.S. military's Miami-based Southern Command and
    reported on warplane landings and takeoffs at U.S. military bases in
    Tampa and the Florida Keys.

    Defense lawyers are still appealing the convictions of all of the "Cuban
    Five" – González, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero
    and Fernando González, who is not related to the freed spy.

    Hernandez is serving two life sentences on charges that information he
    sent to Havana helped Cuban warplanes shoot down two Miami-based
    civilian planes in 1996, and kill all four
    members aboard.

    Horowitz recently asked U.S. District Court Judge Joan Lenard, who
    presided at the trial of the "Cuban Five," to let his client serve his
    probation in Cuba. Lenard rejected the request but said he could file it
    again after he was released. Horowitz said Tuesday that he will file it
    sometime soon.

    Some leading Cuban exiles in Miami have said they favor allowing
    Gonzalez, a Chicago-born dual U.S. and Cuban citizen, to return to Cuba
    in order to remove a possible irritant in South Florida.

    U.S. prosecutors have argued that allowing González to return to Cuba
    would effectively lift all the restrictions of his probation.

    Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was reported to have told Cuban
    officials that the Obama administration would be willing to let González
    return to Cuba if Havana frees Alan , a U.S. government
    subcontractor serving a 15-year prison term in Cuba.

    Cuba has hinted it could free Gross only as part of a deal involving all
    the Cuban Five. The State Department has noted that would not be
    possible because the five are convicted spies and "not political prisoners."